We all buy shit we don’t need sometimes, and we all have those purchases we keep going back to with a renewed hope that we’ll enjoy them, despite knowing full well that they never pan out the way we think they will. And for me, there have been a few key items in adulthood that have, repeatedly, let me down in this way. So, with a little help from the TFD team, I’ve rounded up 7 of the biggest offenders in the “never feel as good as you think they will” category, the biggest category we should all be cutting from our budgets.
1. Novelty-Flavor Oreos.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been sucked in by a new promotional flavor of Oreo, and the craziest thing is, I don’t even really like Oreos that much to begin with!!! Like, they’re okay, but I’m not ever going to just sit here and eat a bunch of Oreos as my choice of dessert. (Frankly, I prefer the cream-to-cookie ratio of the Thins, but they don’t get the cool flavors.) In any case, I have more than a handful of times been slightly delirious in the cookie aisle of Fairway or whatever and thought, “Hey, yeah, Banana Split Oreos — that sounds pretty good!” No, that does not sound “pretty good,” and I can almost guarantee that I will eat approximately four of the cookies and then just let them go stale and sad in my cabinet for several months, before ultimately throwing them away while shaking my head at how susceptible I am to anything that says “Limited Edition.”
Some people are going to disagree with me here I’m sure, but I have almost never gotten a manicure and not either fucked it up while still literally sitting in the salon somehow, or deeply regretted the long-lasting gel when it came time to take it off. I was moderately addicted to gel manicures a few years back, and I’m being sincere when I say that I don’t think my nails will ever fully recover. When I think of the money, the ill-advised nail art, the awful scraping sound, the smell of the remover soaking on my hands, and the money again, I have a full-body shudder. My life rule now is: gel manicure only for incredibly special events or trips where I don’t want to have to worry about my nails, and never regular manicures, because I’m paying $12 plus tip for something that will absolutely chip within a day.
3. Suicidal Flowers.
What the fuck is up with hydrangeas? Seriously, what the fuck is going on with those flowers? I have bought a bouquet of them several times in life, each time from a different shop and of slightly differing color/quality, and each time they have wilted on the stem within 18 hours of getting them home — even in full sun!!! There is a small sub-genre of cut flowers that I like to call “suicidal,” as they seem almost determined to die in the saddest and quickest way possible. This includes the aforementioned hydrangeas, snap dragons (which literally look like they pass out once you put them in a vase), tulips, and many varieties of roses. I will always be willing to spend money on cut flowers, because I do think they genuinely contribute to my quality of life, but I have had to get laser-focused on the bouquets that maximize lifespan and cost-effectiveness, because who the hell has money for that more than once a week??
4. The Bottomless Brunch Option.
There are so many reasons why this is an automatic regret, but let’s start with the biggest one: I prefer bloody marys and let’s be honest, who can actually drink four bloody marys in one sitting, let alone while also eating a savory meal? Like beyond just being approximately 20 times your daily recommended intake of sodium, it’s also like eating an entire meal in addition to your actual one. And furthermore, even if you’re going the mimosa or champagne route, you usually have to drink at least 3-4 to get your money’s worth — often in a shortened time frame — which, wow, who needs to be getting hammered in the middle of a Sunday afternoon? I’m not saying that I don’t love a good couple drinks (I definitely do), but I also don’t like to take an alcoholic sledgehammer to any potential for a productive Sunday. If you’re bottomless brunching, you basically spend the morning sleeping in and getting ready for brunch, 12-3 getting way too day drunk, and then the next three hours napping, blearily walking around, and feeling like shit until you eat some still-slightly-tipsy dinner and pass out. I say, much better to do a Sunday roast, where you have a productive morning and early-afternoon, eat a big meal with some nice wine around 4 PM, and then enter a well-fed sleep sometime around 9 PM, leaving you (at least somewhat) refreshed for the week ahead.
5. Copper Kitchen Items.
We’re putting an exception here to the copper-bottom pans, which are generally a great and very useful kitchen investment. But beyond that, basically every copper kitchen item you can buy — from mixing bowls to french presses to mixers — are guaranteed to end up spotty, fingerprinted, discolored, and frankly gross if you actually use them. You see those cooking shows or magazine spreads with the breathtakingly-beautiful hanging rack of all copper products, gleaning in the television lights, and think “God damn, that’s what a grown-up’s kitchen looks like.” But here’s the thing: those items are purely decorative. They are buffed to perfection and literally never touched by food. If you get, say, a gleaming set of copper mixing bowls, you are gonna have to make a decision: they are either going to be completely decorative, or you’re going to sink an inordinate time into keeping them looking decent, and still be disappointed with the results.
6. Products That Are Too Pretty To Actually Use.
The embossed stationery set. The hand-poured candle. The delicately-printed kitchen towel. We buy them, often at like a Marshalls-esque discount home goods store, thinking “God damn, my home is going to be so elegant and beautiful,” and then realize that things which are that elegant and beautiful physically pain you to use. You buy them with the intent of getting some joy out of them, but only actually feel comfortable to look at them while they collect dust in some room of your home. You don’t burn the candle, you don’t use the kitchen towel, you don’t actually write notes on the stationery. And while, yes, there is always something to be said for a home full of beautiful things, the line between “a practical person with good taste” and “discount Kate Spade knick-knack hoarder” is blurrier than we think.
7. The Shit Your Hairdresser Tricks You Into Buying.
Maybe some of you guys will disagree, but every. single. time. I have been pressured into buying some ~*~aLL nAtUrAL pAsSioN fRuiT eSsEncE rEviTaLiZiNg HaiR mAsK~*~ that costs like 30 fucking dollars, I have immediately regretted it. The products never work as well as you think they will, partially because you never have the patience or the skill to apply them with the same vigor that your hairdresser does, and even if they do work relatively well, you are certainly never going to buy it again to maintain that quality outside of your actual hair appointments. Maybe you’re the type of person who uses like $40 shampoo, but I am not and never will be, and have deeply regretted every instance where I have been convinced I could become one.
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